Ah, fall. Bonfires. The beauty of the changing of leaves from bright reds and yellows to rust and orange. The air gets colder and crisper and breathing just feels easier. Fall is a favorite season for many and it is our hope to you, that despite everything going on in our world, you’ll still be able to enjoy some of the wonderful things this season has to offer.
Now is a better time than ever to put the devices down, pause, and take some time to celebrate the sweet relief of JOMO, (the Joy of Missing Out). Missing out on your socials and pausing the impending doom that seems to be filling our feeds.
COVID-19 may have put some limitations on your fall activities. We know that with cases rising nationwide, and continuing to go up in our communities, being safe is a top priority. Locally, our community is working tirelessly to bring you and your families a moment’s relief. You know what’s right for you and your family during these difficult times, but if you are looking for some opportunities that will allow you to socially distance safely outdoors, we’ve compiled a list of our fall favorites away from those screens...
Kimmel’s Orchard and Vineyard in Nebraska City is back to regular hours following COVID-19. The Orchard’s website shares its mission, “Kimmel’s Orchard and Vineyard is dedicated to agricultural education research, historic preservation and wholesome family experiences.” The U-Pick area may be closed but all of their wonderful ripe apples are still available to the public through their store. The Orchard’s seasonal supply also includes fresh apple donuts, pies, cookies and more, including adult indulgences. The Pollinator Playground is open during the week for the younger crowd.
A fall favorite, Vala’s Pumpkin Patch is open for its 35th year of operation. With fun for the whole family, Vala’s is the Disneyworld of pumpkin patches. They are dedicated to providing opportunities for families “to learn, laugh and play together.” With attractions, live shows and shopping there is something for everyone. Come hungry! This is a fall foodie’s dream destination. Perfect for the spooky season this local treasure is open until Halloween. Other pumpkin patches include Arbor Day Farm and Martin's Hillside Orchard.
VIP Car Wash is hosting its first annual, Haunted Car Wash. On selected dates of October, the car wash will be complete with black lights, decorations, plus staff and volunteers in costume but not too spooky for the younger participants. Each drive-through comes with the highest quality cash wash for only $20. Individuals are encouraged to dress up in costumes, especially the smaller visitors! However, it is not required. Donations will be accepted and matched for The Open Door Mission, an organization committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
Have some older children? Or looking for a date night?? Experience a horror movie come to life at Scary Acres. Each of the three attractions is geared towards individuals seeking Halloween thrills. Their attractions include a castle, house and haunted woods. However, remain cautious, this is not for the faint of heart or younger visitors. With over 17 acres there is ample room for social distancing, allowing guests to “spread out, enjoy the outdoors, wear a mask when appropriate, be courteous of others, have fun and be safe!” Other haunted attractions in the Omaha area include Ranch of Terror and "Darkness” and Camp Fear.
Although their Orchard closed early this year, Friday Night Outdoor Movies at Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard are continuing throughout October. With showings of Casper, Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Goosebumps and Ghostbusters. These free outdoor movies include food and drinks available in their shop. Towards the end of October, Ditmars is also offering its first Dog Halloween Costume Parade. All friendly dogs are welcomed as long as they are leashed. There is a small registration fee, however, profits will be donated to the Nebraska Humane Society.
There couldn’t be a more perfect time to explore your backyards and communities. Enjoy a scenic drive on one of Nebraska’s wonderful routes. The Loess Hills National Scenic Byway is nearly 15 miles wide and 200 miles long of unique land formations passing right through the Omaha area. Highway 66 (Exit 426 between Omaha and Lincoln) also holds many alluring attractions along the way including Mahoney State Park, Wildlife Safari Park and Platte River State Park. All of which are perfect to catch lovely fall views.
This list is compiled of SGS favorites, and we will continue to look for additional activities for your families! Please feel free to share other activities with us that you have come across - or ways you are keeping your children entertained during this challenging time!